The industry’s best kept secret?
Glass Times talks to Vista’s MD, Keith Sadler, who explains how the company has grown to become the largest specialist panel and door supplier in the UK.
If you were asked to name the biggest company that manufactures both composite doors and PVC-U panels in the UK, who would you say?
Vista Panels may not be the first name to spring to mind, but with a turnover of over £30m and ranked number 13 on Insight Data’s ‘Top 100 Fabricators and Installers’ report, the Merseyside based firm is now reported to be the largest specialist panel and door supplier in the UK.
Vista’s story starts back in 1995, when the business was founded as a PVC-U door panel specialist, supplying fabricators nationwide. Vista set about building a loyal network of several hundred customers, but by the late ‘90s, an exciting new home improvement product started to emerge – composite doors.
Managing director, Keith Sadler, takes up the story: “PVC-U panels were our bread and butter, but it was clear that the market was moving towards composite doors, and if we wanted to continue our growth, we would need to diversify. We set about reviewing what composite doors were already on the market and creating a product that would really stand out, officially launching our range in 1999.”
Vista’s ethos was to outperform the competition in key areas such as security, thermal efficiency and weather performance, and by the 2010s, the company was selling arguably the best product in its price bracket, offering market leading performance for a very reasonable price.
Keith explains: “The standard lock at the time was three point, but we went further and specified a five point, while we were also one of the first companies to invest in an edgebander machine, meaning we could get down to a U-value of 0.8 W/m²K. It’s an approach we still take today and has proven to be very successful.”
Selling the ‘Vista Welcome Collection’, Vista had a great product, but the brand needed revamping to reflect its high specification. Keen to communicate the impressive features and benefits to potential customers, in 2013, Vista enlisted the help of industry marketing agency Purplex to develop a strategy.
Keith continues: “We wanted a strong, powerful brand, and during our early discussions with Purplex, the word ‘extreme’ kept coming up. ‘We offer extreme security, extreme thermal efficiency etc.’ – and we eventually concluded that ‘XtremeDoor’ would be the best name to get our message across.”
With a new website, brochure, video content and marketing strategy in place, Vista started to attract new customers and was soon approaching 1,000 doors per week.
In 2016, a major development occurred when Eurocell purchased the company. This gave Vista further access to the Eurocell fabricator network and specifiers looking to use Eurocell profile in the new build market, prompting another period of strong growth.
And when the Covid pandemic struck, resulting in high consumer demand and major supply chain issues, Vista decided to embark on two major factory expansion programmes, adding an additional 18,000ft2 to its existing 50,000ft2 unit.
“The extra space enabled us to hold more stock and manufacture in higher volumes, helping us ride the pandemic rollercoaster and supply our customers with what they needed, when they needed it,” Keith explained.
Vista has come a long way since 1995 – the business has grown enormously and the products have evolved.
“Since starting out back in 1995, Vista has certainly come a long way, and has weathered many storms along the road to become today’s leading composite door manufacturer. To have overcome the dark days of the pandemic in particular – and to have come out ahead – is something we are particularly proud of,” Keith says.
But as Keith explains, the company’s core ethos remains the same
“It can sound a bit cliché, but fundamentally we are a customer centric business and we strive to always go above and beyond. Whether that means a quick re-make on a product, helping a customer in a sales pitch, a site visit or technical support or installation guidance, our experienced team is always on hand to react quickly and do whatever it takes to get the project over the line.
“I’d like to thank our customers for their continued support over the years and look forward to welcoming any new businesses that would like to work with us in the future.”